Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 05:13
The-Scientist recently posted a short piece on science-related blogs and interviewed seven different science bloggers to find out which blogs they recommend. One puzzling feature about the piece is that all the bloggers they interviewed were male. Pretty harmless, right? Sure. Except, as others have pointed out (here and here), these kind of invisible moments add up. Here are some of mine: I rode my bike to work yesterday and happened on a large bill-board with the phrase: "Are you a long-haired, pony-tail-wearing, software geek?" I was stunned. How did they know? When did I become a target demographic? Then I realized the person on the poster was a guy. Sigh. Our very own Workforce Development Council of King County, which contains Seattle, a sort-of modern city, had a fit of educational benevolence last year. They decided to promote biotechnology careers to young people by producing an set of excellent video interviews. The interviews are great, but.... ...they leave a strong impression that only one in ten biotech employees are female. This might be true in some industries, but NOT biotechnology. In another invisible moment, I set through a presentation from an industry executive on genomics and life sciences. That's not unusual, but one thing was hard to overlook. Throughout the entire talk he referred to all the people working in biotech and life sciences as "he." I'm sure he knows other pronouns, but he didn't use them. When I mentioned this oversight to a guy I know, he said I should cut the speaker some slack because he's from Europe. Right. Sexism is okay if someone is a foreigner. Whatever American men do is okay, but they're so much better by comparison. (yes, I am being sarcastic.) Sigh. Well, female bloggers, scientific or otherwise, I don't think we should wait around for Horton the elephant to come find our dust speck and rescue us. Go check out The-Scientist's post add your two cents to the discussion. Remember the Who's: We are here! We are here! We are here!